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Super U's to unseat the Chairboys this afternoon in
at 09:40 13 Jan 2018

Lets keep it quick and simple this week. Last week was a second half horror show after Kyel Reid's indiscretion.

Now I'm not cynical, but I wonder if it was a deliberate act, because there is no other reason for such apparent stupidity and the three game ban essentially means that he is unlikely to ever play for the U's again. An inauspicious ending to his U's appearances. Anyway we move on.

The defeat really hurt the U's not just the result but the second half capitulation to a very poor side.

JM has a lot to do to get back in the faithful's good books. Leaving Szmodics out for reasons of fatigue (which ironically worked against his £1m transfer to Bournemouth) because all the old demons that have plagued his career came back to the forefront of people's minds.

Forget all the transfer speculation, which has largely been JM and newspaper generated. Szmodics remains a U's player so lets play him and let him score some goals. This approach of promotion of interest and want away generated by local management has been nonsense and has both unsettled the player and the side.

Still the December Player of the Month Award has gone to Sammie Szmodics for his 5 match, 5 goals and 1 assist performance. A brace today would be very welcome.

Luton have no such issue with hot prospect Danny Hylton who carries on playing and scoring. Similarly billy Kee at Accrington who show no ill effects from scoring lots of goals regularly.

The U's should instead be looking forward to Prosser and Dickenson returning in order to strengthen the promotion push and this unnecessary speculation is both harmful and irritating.

JM has hinted at changes, dropping Wright would be helpful today and playing Mandron and Guthrie with Szmodics just behind.

Something along the lines of a 3,4,1,2 formation

Walker

Jackson Eastman Kent

Vincent-Young Murray Comley Loft

Szmodics

Mandron Guthrie

On the bench will we see Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe with Courtney Senior hopefully with Gilmartin James Hanlan Wright and Kpekawa

Gareth Ainsworth will be looking for a double over his fierce rivals, this will mean that JM and his charges must step up to the plate in order to get a result at the Chairboys.

A feisty atmosphere in Buckinghamshire will only add to the occasion. Enjoy the game.

Up the U's

[Post edited 13 Jan 10:34]
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Kyel Reid has three games to reflect on his stupidity
at 22:18 8 Jan 2018

Having watched the shocking second half capitulation on Video, the senseless Red Card incurred by Reid is all the more damning. It was our free kick, the referee couldn't have been better placed and we were already winning a game that we would probably have gone on to win 3-0.

However the so called "highlights" suggested that the players all consumed stupid pills at half time, such was the lethargy that they approached the second 45 minutes. Cheltenham were allowed to attack at will and the only surprise is that it wasn't 5 or 6 that the U's conceded.

All in all a shocking performance. Perhaps the "fatigue" that struck Szmodics down affected the others as well. Maybe some bad cherries were consumed.

So if he is going then get it done and quick and lets pocket the £1m and move on. Good luck to Sammie but it is all about how we pick ourselves up and then tackle the Wycombe game. Thank goodness we wont have Reid for the next three games.

Coventry don't want him and with behaviour like that it is easy to see why he has never achieved more in the game. No-one can definitely say we would have won with XI players but going down to X has never helped the U's cause.

I would suggest that they all let themselves down second half but the biggest miscreant was Kyel Reid.

The attendance was awful too, perhaps they all envisaged a shocking display.

As someone once sang things can only get better.

Up the U's
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U's to overpower Robins at Fortress Weston Homes
at 23:03 5 Jan 2018

With League rivals either playing in the Cup or sitting out the weekend, JM and his charges have the chance to move up to third place in the league on Saturday when they entertain Cheltenham Town, marshalled by Gary Johnson.

It has been a busy week with successive 0-0 draws, meaning it is now 2 defeats in 17 games and an incredible 9 clean sheets during this run.

The transfer window has opened, and Colchester wasted little time in signing two players from Maldon and Tiptree (Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Ryan Gondoh). Junior is in the squad for the home game tomorrow.

Meanwhile Craig Slater has been loaned to Dundee United, Lewis Kinsella has moved to Aldershot, initially for one month and Tommy O’Sullivan has been loaned to Torquay until the end of the season. All three could be on their way out of the Club.

Unsurprisingly Sanmi Odelusi has not been retained by the club and has signed for Cheltenham and could play for the Robins tomorrow. Gary Johnson also has Emmanuel Onariase at his disposal and they will offer a threat from 12 goal Mohamed Eisa, who will need careful monitoring.

The transfers in and out leaves Ryan Inniss (currently injured), Kyel Reid, Brandon Comley and Brandon Hanlan currently on loan with the U’s. Inniss has been outstanding and it was unfortunate that he picked up a shoulder injury, Comley too has played well in the middle of the park, Reid has blown hot and cold, whilst Hanlan’s opportunities have been limited and with Guthrie returning soon full time and the signing of Junior it may be that Hanlan too will return to his parent club.

After a punishing schedule of games over Christmas, JM may be tempted to make a couple of changes and I suspect that he will stick with a 3,4,1,2 formation, something along these lines:

Walker

Eastman Kent Kpekawa

Murray Lapslie Comley Vincent-Young

Szmodics

Mandron Guthrie

Subs:
Gilmartin James Hanlan Wright Ogedi-Uzokwe Jackson Reid

I do hope that Guthrie starts tomorrow, and that Junior is given around 20 minutes in the second half.

The weather is set to be cloudy in Colchester, 5 degrees Celsius and with 28% precipitation.

Enjoy the game, get behind the U’s and roar them on to 3rd place.

Up the U’s

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Forgotten man Craig Slater loaned to Dundee United
at 17:12 3 Jan 2018

Not quite what I was anticipating but I suppose JM is freeing up cash for transfer INs.

Up the U's
[Post edited 3 Jan 17:14]
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Stalemate at the Proact Stadium with Eastman and Eastwood honours even
at 15:39 31 Dec 2017

The U’s gave a curate’s egg performance at the Proact Stadium yesterday and dropped two points in their quest for automatic promotion. With 21 games to play the U’s must understand that they cannot afford first half profligacy in front of goal and then fail to push for the winner late on.

The journey down from Durham (117 miles) was slow with delays on the A66, A1(M), M18 and M1 but we did arrive safely and managed to take our seats just as the game kicked off.

The pitch was in very good condition, the temperature was 10 degrees Celsius, but there was a very strong wind (causing a wind chill factor) blowing South West to North East diagonally across the pitch and which caused problems for both teams when they were playing with the wind. Neither team fully came to terms with the need for caution when playing long balls forward, which were invariably overhit and either went through to the keeper or out for a goal kick.

It was very good to see Gerry and Wessex who had already taken their seats towards the front of the area allocated for the Away supporters. The club website allocates the North Stand for the travelling hoards but yesterday we were corralled into the Community East Stand and out of a crowd of 5,537 there were 257 of the faithful, all in good voice throughout the game.

Colchester lined up 4,3,3 and were unchanged for the fourth successive match:

Walker

Jackson Eastman Kent Vincent-Young

Lapslie Comley Reid

Wright Mandron Szmodics

Subs:
Gilmartin Hanlan Slater Odelusi Kpekawa Murray Guthrie

Chesterfield were fielding an on-loan Goalkeeper Jake (aka Clint) Eastwood who was clearly feeling lucky because the punk made two impressive saves from Szmodics and Wright. In fairness to Chesterfield Walker was also called upon to make two saves, a particularly agile one when it seemed that Rowley would reach the ball first and head it into the Colchester net, but big Sam grasped the ball from his head, for once commanding his six-yard box as befits a 7-foot-tall keeper!

Ryan Inniss was not fit to appear even on the bench and so JM played a back four with the impressive Kent, Eastman, plus Jackson and Vincent-Young who both pushed forward at every opportunity. In fact Frankie Kent was my MotM.

What JM must consider is that if playing wing backs (Jackson and Vincent-Young) with Wright and Reid further forward it leaves only Lapslie and Comley as conventional central midfield players. There were occasions yesterday when we clearly missed more midfield cover which would have aided Mandron and Szmodics.

In the first half with Colchester attacking with the wind and our position in the East stand giving us the perfect vantage point to view the right wing build up play there were at least half a dozen crosses which went awry after a positive build up involving Jackson, Lapslie, Wright and or Comley.

After 13 minutes a Jackson cross found Szmodics who tried to pass the ball into the net and Eastwood made a smart save diving to his left. Sadly, other crosses were under hit and failed to reach their intended target.

Now I was not Mandron’s biggest fan when he first started to play for the U’s, but he has matured into a more confident performer. His hold up play, and mobility are far superior now, but he still fails to strike more shots towards the goal. That is something that he must continue to work on.

Half time arrived with the U’s having dominated large period of the game but without pressing home their advantage and for Chesterfield apart form Rowley’s attempted header their left back Jerome Binnon-Williams had tried a couple of sighters.

Now the organisation of catering staff was simply abysmal. With over 250 Colchester supporters the food kiosk had only one partition open and only two staff serving. Result, we missed the start of the second half whilst queuing for the pie and coffee and tea. Strangely no one complained but then we are a nation well versed in queues and queuing. Incidentally the pie although slightly dry had plenty of steak filling and the potato was good. The Pastry was not too stodgy. The Coffee needed three milks but otherwise was ok.

No personnel changes at half time and as we re-entered the pitch side we saw Chesterfield’s best effort whistle past the post from Binnon-Williams.

After 70 minutes Szmodics let fly from distance, but his effort was wide. He was then replaced by Sean Murray after 74 minutes. Our attacking intent was then diminished overtly, and it seemed that JM was protecting what he already had.

After 83 minutes Kurtis Guthrie appeared after chanting from the faithful. Sadly, JM removed Mandron from the fray to accommodate him. I would have liked to have seen both target men up front in an attempt to secure all three points.

Now JM has a decision to make; either Guthrie is fit or not. If so then he should be given more than 6 or 8 minutes per game. Yesterday he was a lucky boy to remain on the field after a scything tackle only three minutes after coming on. Clearly frustration lack of match fitness or something else led to this challenge. Also, Kurtis get your contract signed and quick. We don’t want this matter dragging out.

The last player, also a striker, who only received occasional outings was Macca Bonne and he has of course moved to pastures new and has scored 13 goals for the O’s this season.

We want Guthrie back and we want him playing perhaps at least 45 minutes until he is fully match fit. Cambridge would be a good introduction for the tall striker.

That brings us to the forgotten man. Craig Slater who has warmed more benches than I have had hot dinners. Is he ever going to play again, or has he fallen out of favour.

A mention also of the Referee Sebastian Stockbridge, who I thought had a very good game. He demonstrated authority without the need to be card happy and he was fair to both sides, something which I haven’t seen too much of this season.

After the game JM thought that we were lacking a cutting edge and that heavy travelling had an impact on the performance. With two winnable games both at home, the players should be in their ice baths preparing for 6 more home points.

He has hinted at changes. Hopefully Inniss will be back, so that we can play 3 at the back. Bring Guthrie into the team with Mandron and play Szmodics just behind them. Think about Murray starting with Comley in the CM roles to give us an edge there.
JM don’t be afraid to play Slater for at least some of the game minutes to introduce fresh legs.

The Cambridge game will be a feisty derby, they are on the fringes of the promotion picture with 36 points and fresh from a home win against the Railwaymen. I would expect 6,000 at the WHCS to watch this one.

Assuming Inniss is fit then we need to go with something along these lines:

Walker

Eastman Inniss Kent

Jackson Comley Murray Lapslie

Szmodics

Mandron Guthrie

Subs:
Gilmartin Slater Kpekawa Hanlan Reid Vincent-Young Wright

Try Hanlan if Guthrie is not considered fit for a full 45 minutes.

Current league table:
Luton 25 51
Notts Co 25 47
Lincoln 25 43
Exeter 24 42
Coventry 25 41
Wycombe 25 40
Accrington 24 40
COL U 25 40
Mansfield 25 40

Clearly this is going to be a close affair, but with most teams having 21 games to play, there are still plenty of points to play for. It is crucial that we do not allow a gap to appear between the top three and the pack. Luton showed they are fallible at Vale Park yesterday and the Valiants must be the number one form side at present. New Years Day sees Luton play at home to Lincoln and Notts Co v Port Vale both of which are interesting games.

Time for the big players to show up tomorrow and get this promotion bandwagon back on track.

Happy New Year.

Up the U’s

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Spireites to be toppled by the Super U's on Saturday
at 21:13 27 Dec 2017

On Saturday JM and his charges face their most difficult challenge of the season and with no disrespect to the Spireites I am not referring to Chesterfield or their ground but the fact that I will be attending another game with my unenviable record, that of failing to see the Super U’s win for the last three seasons.

Now admittedly that is predominantly at Away matches, but it is a shocking and appalling statistic over more than 20 games during that period. This also includes televised games!!!

There have been some drubbings during that abysmal record (Burton, Wigan, Exeter etc) and some close games where we have been leading only to concede 88th or 89th minute penalties (at Morecambe and Grimsby respectively).

I have however made the decision to attend on Saturday to get the monkey off my back so to speak.

The U’s are currently on an impressive run of only 2 defeats in 16 games and, so you could argue there is no better opportunity to watch them than at lowly Chesterfield, who themselves were defeated 2-0 by Crewe on Boxing Day to leave them 23rd in the table.

Unfortunately I am worried that I am becoming a jinx to the club and have consequently been avoiding, individual magpies, any form of ladders, black cats and any other potential banana skins. It may seem trivial, but it is a real concern to me now especially as I have pencilled in another 9 away games to watch this season (all with asterisks against them in the following table) and that doesn’t include at least two home matches, yet to be chosen.

Anyway, enough of this madness, more of Colchester who are playing some sparkling football at present and in Szmodics and Mandron they have two inform strikers plus JM has fashioned an almost leakproof defence playing either 3 or 4 at the back depending on circumstances.

22 games to play for the opportunity to gain promotion back to League One.

HOME AWAY
Cambridge Chesterfield*
Cheltenham Wycombe
Grimsby Port Vale*
Newport Carlisle*
Coventry Crewe*
Barnet Morecambe*
Yeovil Mansfield*
Luton Stevenage
Accrington Forest Green*
Notts Co Lincoln*
Swindon Exeter*

In stark contrast Jack Lester has real injury problems at Chesterfield and had to play an unfamiliar back three against Crewe which he is unlikely to repeat against Colchester where he will revert to a back four, but the fact remains that they have serious injury worries.

Chesterfield are looking for a reaction after recent defeats. Something of course that JM knows all about with his injury woes which although easing are still real with Dickenson, Prosser and others still weeks away from a return. Doug Loft is closer to a return, but Saturday may be too soon.

The good news is that Kurtis Guthrie saw another few minutes game time and will be pushing for a start, perhaps against Cambridge on New Year’s Day.

The squad though are strong and resilient, and JM is using them effectively to fashion some excellent results. JM has also suggested that he is looking to strengthen the team in January especially now that Kabamba and Odelusi will have both moved on by then.

Hanlan, Comley and Reid could have their loan periods extended, whilst Ryan Inniss is scheduled to stay until the end of the season.

Therefore, JM may look to maintain an unchanged starting XI at the Proact Stadium:

Walker

Jackson Eastman Kent Vincent-Young

Comley Lapslie Reid

Wright Mandron Szmodics

Subs:
Gilmartin Kpekawa Inniss Slater Murray Guthrie Hanlan

It may be that certain players are concealing knocks, Kane Vincent-Young possibly one of those but JM does have cover. The aim on Saturday would be to give Murray, Guthrie and perhaps Inniss some game time.

Crawley made six changes for the Boxing Day clash with the U’s, JM is eminently sensible to keep a settled team and squad where possible, understanding the need for fresh legs at the appropriate time.

What is frustrating for me is the sudden interest in Sammie Szmodics which has largely been generated by JM talking about offers and interest in “one of our own”. He is having a great season after some earlier long-term season threatening injuries and whilst I welcome the goals and his contribution to the team, we must stop giving our best players away or talking them away.

There doesn’t seem to be the same interest in Luton Town prolific marksmen and they are top of the league for goodness sake. Even Oliver Watkins, Exeter’s best player by far last season only went to Brentford (no disrespect to them!). Let us hope that the Ipswich scum keep their lascivious eyes off our Sammie.

It is a real pleasure to examine the top places in the league:

Luton 24 51
Notts County 24 47
Lincoln 24 40
Wycombe 24 40
COL U 24 39
Exeter 23 39
Coventry 24 38
Mansfield 24 37
Accrington 23 37

The weather at Chesterfield on Saturday is scheduled to be 6 degrees Celsius and cloudy with a 30% chance of precipitation. After a decent turn out at Crawley from the faithful (375) we can expect a similar number in Derbyshire at the weekend. Including Gerry, Wessex et al.

I will be suffering a severe bout of PMT (pre-match tension) ahead of Saturday but once the victory has been achieved I can look forward to more winning games and that unwelcome record will be well and truly consigned to the history books.

Have a safe journey on Saturday, enjoy the game and another three promotion seeking points for the Super U’s

Failure is not an option.

A Very Happy New Year to you all.

Up the U’s

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Boxing Day celebrations to continue for the Super U's in West Sussex
at 23:03 25 Dec 2017

JM takes his promotion hunting Super U’s to the Checkatrade Stadium to do battle with HK, better known as Harry Kewell and his Crawley charges. Now make no mistake the Reds have just managed something that we have failed to do in successive seasons and that is to win at the Crown Ground. At 3-0 they were coasting and eventually won 3-2 after a rally from the home team, but take nothing away, it was an impressive victory.

Additionally, we have failed to win at Crawley with 3 defeats and 2 draws in our previous meetings. Despite this Colchester must not only be favourites to prevail on Boxing Day (after all we are a form team at present) but also if results go our way we could enter the top three places, which would be quite an achievement.

Colchester remain outside the top seven places with 36 points from 23 games, an improvement is required for the second half of the season if we are to achieve 82 points, which will be required to achieve a place in the top three. Crawley have 27 points from 23 games and sit in 17th place.

I read today that stats compiled for Boxing Day results show Colchester well down the table out of the 92 League Clubs with only 16 wins from 54 games since their formation. Stats however are there to be challenged and our recent away form suggest we are capable of winning the match to maintain our credible promotion challenge.

JM will be looking to maintain his successful team selection which has been largely unchanged for the last few matches. JM has a decision to make about Ryan Inniss and Kurtis Guthrie, but I would caution about rushing either player back too soon. Both should figure on the bench if deemed fit. I would like to see Guthrie back to play some part against Chesterfield on Saturday.

JM may opt to start 4,3,3 with the following players:

Walker

Jackson Eastman Kent Vincent-Young

Lapslie Comley Reid

Szmodics Mandron Wright

Subs:
Gilmartin Inniss James Murray Hanlan Slater Guthrie

The weather tomorrow at Crawley is likely to be 8-degrees Celsius, but wet with almost 100% precipitation. It will be a question of who wants it more in the conditions.

JM will have to effect change to his playing personnel at some stage with a punishing Christmas/New Year schedule, but Crawley, Chesterfield and Cambridge are winnable games.

Safe journey for the travelling faithful, enjoy the game and let us celebrate another away victory at 4.50pm on Boxing Day.

Up the U’s



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Confident & fearless Super U's to overcome Valiants at WHCS
at 20:32 22 Dec 2017

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Col U faithful.

Fresh from an excellent Away performance at the County Ground, JM returns to a home match at Fortress Weston against the Valiants under the management of Neil Aspin.

Port Vale are looking to pull away from the foot of the table and have profited from back to back victories, notably a 2-1 success at Brunton Park last week.

Port Vale also have an identical Away record to that of the Super U’s, so JM must guard against complacency after 3 wins out of 4 against fancied teams in the League.

Traditionally the final weekend before Christmas is notorious for last minute bargains in the hustle and bustle of the shopping centres and outlets. Let us hope that the Colchester faithful can be persuaded to enjoy some festive football, especially as the team are doing so well at present.

One of the reasons (as mentioned last week) is the fact that JM is able to field a fairly settled team and that is a rarity in itself. Clearly Ryan Inniss is a big miss but JM rejigged the defence, and all was well at Swindon. With four games in ten days however, JM will be looking to play a number of squad players and will be looking to press Inniss back into service when deemed match fit.

Port Vale will be no pushovers and in Tom Pope and Tyrone Barnett they have a potent strike force. Notwithstanding this I expect the U’s to be too strong for the Valiants and to see them off tomorrow.

JM will be keen to play as settled a side as possible and that must mean minimum changes.

He may revert to the 3,4,1,2 formation for this home game.

Walker

Jackson Eastman Kent

Vincent-Young Comley Lapslie Reid

Szmodics

Wright Mandron

Subs:
Gilmartin Kpekawa James Slater Murray Guthrie Inniss

With the news this week that Sanmi Odelusi will be returning to his parent club, JM must decide whether Brandon Hanlan will also follow suit. This of course depends on the fitness of Kurtis Guthrie who annoyingly has yet to sign his new contract offer – get it signed and quick.

Kyel Reid was instrumental in the win at Swindon and he is likely to start at home where he has already expressed a desire to see his loan extended and Coventry are likely to agree to this arrangement.

Sammie Szmodics footwork for his goal at the County Ground was reminiscent of Philip Coutinho (no really it was) and he now needs to maintain his fitness and the goals will continue to flow.

JM will have to decide whether he can accommodate both Mandron and Guthrie in his team, personally I think he can in what could be a really strong partnership, but it is early days. He also has to accommodate wing backs and his midfield dynamos. An interesting problem to have.

I hope to see both strikers given the chance to enjoy some minutes on the field together tomorrow.

Similarly, Craig Slater and Sean Murray will be champing at the bit to gain some minutes over the Festive period.

With Brennan Dickenson less than two months way from league action, the faithful will be licking their lips at the prospect of a near full strength team for the super U’s.

Tomorrow the Colchester area is set for a balmy 10 degrees c with cloud cover and the occasional shower. It is really mild for the time of the year.

We just need the crowd to turn up in force and to witness another three points for JM’s Super U’s.

Enjoy the match and Up the U’s



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Robins to have wings clipped at the County Ground by Super U's
at 17:57 14 Dec 2017

JM takes his rejuvenated charges for a Friday evening visit to the County Ground Swindon for a League Two encounter in what is becoming a very closely fought competition for the top seven places.

As things stand the top two positions may already be taken, but the third automatic place is very much up for grabs along with the remaining four play-off places.
Colchester must be aiming for a top three finish.

Very sensibly the U’s have returned Kabamba to Pompey. He failed to score in 10 appearances and this is a wise move. I trust that another loan signing in January might be beneficial for him.

The injury to key defender Ryan Inniss has come at entirely the wrong time when JM was beginning to play a settled team, a luxury that has not presented itself for some considerable time. Moreover, the three-man defence is the major reason why the results have been more encouraging of late with a much stronger and resilient back line and with a plus 5 goal difference to boot.

JM seems keen to move Jackson back to play alongside Eastman and Kent because James is short of match practice (he would have been my choice). This would then suggest Kyel Reid would return on the wing.

After the euphoria of an anticipated Kurtis Guthrie return things have calmed down somewhat but he may well play a part in some of the forthcoming matches over Christmas when the squad really comes into its own.

Games against Port Vale at Home, Crawley and Chesterfield both Away, before the tasty derby match against Cambridge at the WHCS, will define our position in the top seven before the second week in January, when we will have 20 games remaining.

The top half of the league table is certainly tight as follows with GD separating a plethora of teams:

Luton 21 42
Notts County 21 42
Accrington 20 37
Exeter 21 36
Wycombe 21 33
Lincoln 21 33
Coventry 21 32
Swindon 20 32
Mansfield 21 32
COLCHESTER 21 32
Grimsby 21 32
Newport 21 31

Tomorrow’s game against David Flitcroft’s Robins is intriguing because their Home record matches our Away one and whilst this might point to the outcome resulting in a draw, I think that we must look to secure another Away win against one of our promotion rivals. More so because the next matches are all against teams lower in the table and where we can hope to pick up some more maximums.

Swindon Town will be missing their leading striker Luke Norris, but will still offer a stern test to JM’s U’s. Indeed, it is a real shame that the game is not being televised, because it should be entertaining fare. Instead the televised game is from Hillsborough, where Wednesday play table topping Wolves.

So, with JM looking to minimise changes a suggested team for Friday evening would look like this:

Walker

Eastman Jackson Kent

Vincent-Young Comley Lapslie Reid

Szmodics

Wright Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin Kinsella Loft O’Sullivan Slater Guthrie Murray

It would be good for Slater, Guthrie and Murray to all get some minutes at the County Ground perhaps 20-30 second half.

In the meantime, we need Ryan Inniss to return ASAP.

Enjoy the game, safe journey for the travelling faithful and it will be very good to move up to 5th place, albeit for 24 hours!!!

Up the U’s

[Post edited 14 Dec 2017 18:24]
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Sammie Szmodics
at 18:35 12 Dec 2017

I hope that I am not the only U's fan to be annoyed (no incensed and incandescent) at the negative press about Sammie Szmodics. Suddenly he is on everyone's radar and a move to anywhere is imminent (please not Poorman Road).

Whilst I welcome the success of the academy players (he's one of our own!) and the fact that 5 are playing regularly for the U's is great but please let us not get caught up in the euphoria of SELL, SELL, SELL in January.

It is sadly accepted that we will always be a selling club, but let us achieve something before giving away our prized assets.

Two weeks ago it was "Sammie who" outside of Colchester now we are suddenly wrapped up in a who blinks first bidding war for Szmodics when as far as I am concerned there is no FIRM interest but speculation.

Sammie has played 92 times for the U's since 2013 including cups and scored a creditable 19 goals (9 this season).

League games only TOTAL 77
2013-14 appearances 7
2014-15 appearances 31
2015-16 appearances 5
2016-17 appearances 19
2017-18 appearances 15

Please back off until we have achieved promotion this season before giving him away to some lame Championship side or worse still a league One outfit.

Gilbey and Moncur spring to mind as players who were touted as the next big thing but are languishing at their new clubs.

Sammie we need you at Colchester if we are to achieve anything this season.

Up the Super U's
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Grecians to endure a grey day at Fortress Weston
at 23:10 8 Dec 2017

After an enforced fortnight’s rest after the Oxford City debacle, JM prepares to welcome Paul Tisdale’s Grecians to the WHCS on Saturday.

In recent matches Exeter have held the Indian sign over their Essex counterparts but I think the tide is turning. Tisdale is wanted by Birmingham City (although having watched their recent game against Wolves, he would perhaps be forgiven for passing up on the so-called opportunity) but he will undoubtedly have been unsettled by the experience.

Exeter are 4th on 36 points whilst Colchester are 11th on 29 points. Tomorrow is therefore a real six pointer and the Super U’s will have been buoyed by the return to training of Sean Murray and Kurtis Guthrie.

I do not expect either player to start but both will be on the bench. Now the weather is certainly more seasonal, but the worst of the snow appears to have affected the western side of the country and whilst the ground will be firm, it looks to be a dry cold which will help the U’s passing game.

JM will be looking to retain a settled team and the break should have helped training and preparation for this key match.

So, a 3.4.1.2 formation looks likely, along these lines.

Walker

Eastman Inniss Kent

Jackson Comley Lapslie Vincent-Young

Szmodics

Wright Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin Kinsella Loft O’Sullivan Slater Guthrie and Murray

Assuming Dickenson and Prosser return in the new year, JM will have the quality at his disposal to mount a serious promotion challenge.

He has already hinted at not looking for new signings in January suggesting instead that some of the loanees are retained, (perhaps not Kabamba, Reid and Odelusi) but Comley and Hanlan.

A decent crowd will be expected at Fortress Weston tomorrow. Enjoy the game and roar the Super U’s to three more very welcome points.

Up the U’s

[Post edited 9 Dec 2017 7:38]
Forum
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JM' Super U's to clip Magpie's wings at Meadow Lane
at 17:55 24 Nov 2017

JM takes his resurgent Super U’s to Meadow Lane for a tough test against one of the promotion contenders, Kevin Nolan’s Notts County on Saturday afternoon.

The weather is set fine, but a cool 5 degrees in the centre of Nottingham and so the pitch should suit the U’s passing game. Meadow Lane is not one of our happier hunting grounds, but JM is fashioning a team capable of achieving promotion and the U’s should travel with a degree of expectation rather than fear.

Nolan is a wily old campaigner and has assembled a team consisting of several 30 something players including Jon Stead (34) and Shola Ameobi (36). Last season they tore the U’s apart in a 3-1 mauling where Chris Porter scored a superb goal but Ameobi was simply different class that day.

This season Ameobi has been often rested between consecutive matches, whilst there has been a lot of nonsense about Stead receiving a “dead leg” against the Glovers and missing the game tomorrow. This of course is gamesmanship, Stead will undoubtedly line up for the Magpies as Nolan looks to maintain a great run at home using his “Dad’s Army” against JM’s youthful pretenders.

Sadly, I cannot be there tomorrow but with my recent record of U’s games that is probably just as well. The irony is that I strongly believe that the U’s will prevail in front of a bumper crowd (£10 admission) in what could be a classic encounter.

Even a draw will be considered a decent result, but we need to demonstrate intent and win at the home of the Magpies. Key players are all on the way back and when Prosser, Guthrie, Murray and Dickenson return it will be like a new team in the new year.

Now despite Doug Loft sustaining another injury on Tuesday night, the U’s have an able replacement in Comley. JM is also thinking I am sure about playing a virtually unchanged team.

Therefore, something along the following lines in a 3,5,2 formation:

Walker

Eastman Inniss Kent

Jackson Lapslie Comley Szmodics Vincent-Young

Wright Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin Kinsella James O’Sullivan Slater Reid Hanlan

The top nine placings after 19 games looks like this:

Luton 19 38
Notts Co 19 38
Accrington 19 37
Exeter 19 33
Swindon 19 32
Coventry 19 31
Mansfield 19 31
Wycombe 19 30
COLCHESTER 19 29

Tomorrow’s game is huge therefore and it is great for once to realise that a victory could see the U’s enter the top seven places. That would be something to celebrate at 4.50pm.

The faithful will travel in number for this one. Much has been written about the more youthful element this week. As long as they get behind the team and allow the players to write the headlines on Sunday, I will be delighted.

Safe journey to the faithful, enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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